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Tibetan self-immolation videos feature in art exhibition

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New Delhi: A video named ‘Funeral #1’, featuring in an art exhibition featuring mixed media installations, follows Ani Palden Choetso, a Buddhist nun and her self-immolation on a street corner in Tawu town in eastern Tibet.

The eight-minute footage, smuggled out of Tibet, shows Choetso standing rock still, engulfed in flames, before collapsing. Later, a crowd gathers and prevents security officials from taking her body away. It shows her funeral at the local monastery, where thousands hold a gloomy candlelight vigil. Two days later, a hurriedly filmed mobile phone video shows soldiers attacking the monastery.

The video is a part of a of mixed media installations and video works of the exhibition ‘Burning Against the Dying of the Light’, by veteran film makers Ritu Sarin and Tensing Sonam, who are also the founders of the Dharamshala International Film Festival. On display at Khoj Studios, the exhibition brings forth the struggle of a land that those living in banishment in India and elsewhere still hope to return to.

“We had a lot of footage lying around for many years. We decided to put together a show because it will help the Tibetan struggle to move in the right direction,” said Sarin, who along with Sonam made the Tibetan feature film, ‘Dreaming Lhasa’, that premiered at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival.

‘Burning Against the Dying of the Light’ – also the centrepiece of the show – examines the recent self-immolation protests in Tibet. A number of these fiery protests have been captured on mobile phones and, at great risk to the sender, secretly made available to the outside world. These bring home in graphic and horrific detail, the physical reality of self-immolation. In this, the Wheel of Light and Darkness is created like a mixed-media sculpture.

Then there is the other video named ‘Funeral #2’ which had made headlines in the capital three years ago. It follows the sacrifice and cremation of Jamphel Yeshi who set himself alight during a peaceful demonstration in the heart of Delhi on March 26, 2012. 

Another work, ‘Nets in the Sky, Traps on the Ground, Video, printed material’ is a series of Orwellian phrases taken from official Chinese documents that describe some of the many control mechanisms and restrictive measures aimed at Tibetans will be projected on the walls and ceiling.

‘Memorial’, a mixed-media installation, consists of a recreation of the self-immolator, Jamphel YeshiÂ’s sleeping area in his rented room in Majnu ka Tila, the Tibetan refugee settlement in Delhi, exactly as he left it on the morning of his self-immolation.

The ‘Taking Tiger Mountain by Storm’ video installation, being shown for the first time, re-deploys recently acquired Chinese police footage of a large-scale raid on a small village in Central Tibet, converting it from a security apparatus archival record to a parody of what Communism means today in Tibet.

‘Two Friends’ is a 10-minute-long single-channel video of Ngawang Norphel, 22, and Tenzin Khedup, 24, both monks, who took a vow to die together.

Apart from these works, the ‘Stranger in My Native Land’ documentary by Tenzing Sonam, a poignant and personal account of his first visit to his homeland, is also being shown.

The show is on at Khoj Studios, S-17, Khirkee Extension till December 31 from 11 AM to 7 PM. (IANS) (Image: nytimes)

 

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Self Immolation: Young Tibetan Monk sets himself on fire in 150th ceremony in protest to Chinese rule in Tibetan areas

Jamyang Losal, aged about 22, set himself ablaze at around 5:00 a.m. on May 19 near the People’s Hospital in Kangtsa (in Chinese, Gangcha) county in Qinghai’s Tsojang (Haibei) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, a local source told RFA’s Tibetan Service.

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Tibetan monk Jamyang Losal is shown in an undated photo. RFA

Tibet, May 28, 2017– A young Tibetan monk set himself on fire and died on Friday in northwestern China’s Qinghai province in an apparent challenge to Chinese rule in Tibetan areas, a Tibetan living in the area said.

The protest brought to 150 the number of self-immolations by Tibetans living in China since the wave of fiery protests began in 2009.

Jamyang Losal, aged about 22, set himself ablaze at around 5:00 a.m. on May 19 near the People’s Hospital in Kangtsa (in Chinese, Gangcha) county in Qinghai’s Tsojang (Haibei) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, a local source told RFA’s Tibetan Service.

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“He did not survive his protest,” RFA’s source said, speaking on condition of anonymity

“Losal’s body was taken away by the police, and when his family members went to the police station to claim his remains, the police refused to comply with their request,” he said.

“Losal was a monk belonging to Gyerteng monastery in Kangtsa’s Nangra town,” RFA’s source said, adding that about 20 monks now study at the monastery, which is located about 30 kilometers (18 miles) south of the Kangtsa county seat.

Losal was a native of Dong Gya village in Kangtsa county’s Nangra township, the source said.(RFA)

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